The finance industry has low unemployment and continues to attract top talent with impressive compensation and benefits packages. Available finance jobs are expected to increase faster than the average occupation in the next decade. Financial and business careers are expected to grow by eight percent by 2030 (750,000 new jobs.)
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for business and finance occupations was $76,570 in 2021. Other sources estimate the average entry-level finance salary to be $88,160.
Most job opportunities in the finance sector require a bachelor’s degree. However, the return on that investment is high. Please note that the following salaries can vary depending on experience and individuals’ skills. Hopefully, these resources will help you find a job in the finance industry.
What skills do you need for a job in finance?
Entering the finance industry and joining a reputable financial institution typically requires an undergraduate degree or bachelor’s degree at minimum. It’s also helpful to study analytics, business, economics, finance, or math.
Some financial companies may claim to hire a wide variety of majors, but most entry-level positions only hire people with bachelor’s degrees in those areas. If you’re interested in joining the industry but don’t have a finance degree, it’s possible to supplement with a related minor or online certification.
8 highest paying entry-level finance jobs
The finance industry offers some of the highest entry-level jobs. There are top-paying entry-level finance positions currently in high demand. When looking at which work is right for you, it’s essential to identify the best jobs for salary and future career prospects.
There are a lot of different paths you can take with a finance degree, so it’s crucial to learn about your options and explore various career opportunities. Looking for positions that most accurately match your experience, interests, and skills will increase your chances of receiving a job offer. Here we’ll explore some of the highest paying finance jobs available for those new to the industry and some top-paying finance jobs.
8. Loan officer
Loan officers authorize and evaluate loans for businesses and individuals. They often work for a bank, credit union, or other financial institution, analyzing who is eligible to get a loan. This position requires communicating with people and a good understanding of banking industry protocols.
- Average Yearly Salary: $40,101 – $59,701
- Required Skills: Lending products, banking rules, regulations, and documents, math, analytics, interpersonal communication
Accountants ensure you have valid tax information, and they can work for either companies or individuals. Accountants can work for large, medium, or small companies, nonprofits, or any size accounting firm. If you think analytically and enjoy solving problems with financial data, then this is the perfect role for you.
- Average Yearly Salary: $53,101 – $64,201
- Required Skills: Analytical thinking, knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles, understanding of federal and state laws, interpersonal communication, balance sheet knowledge, tax returns, accounting software
6. Budget analyst
Budget analysts are similar to accountants, but these financial professionals help companies and individuals budget by following laws and regulations. Budgeting can be tricky for some businesses or individuals, so Budget Analysts come in to help organize the overall finances and plan for future spending.
- Average Yearly Salary: $53,690 – $68,490
- Required Skills: Strong math skills, understanding of statistical methods and models, computer skills, familiarity with Big Data and machine learning, federal and state laws, spreadsheets
5. Financial examiner
Financial examiner is one of the highest-paying entry-level jobs, and the outlook for this role shows higher-than-average growth opportunities. They are responsible for risk management, ensuring financial institutions follow the law, and verifying banks have enough cash to manage liquidity and unexpected losses.
- Average Yearly Salary: $31,000 – $43,101
- Required Skills: Knowledge of federal and state laws, accounting, finance, risk management, reading comprehension, attention to detail, writing, analytics
4. Financial analyst
Financial analysts help businesses and individuals diversify and invest their money. Financial analysts monitor economic trends, advise clients, determine value, and assess financial risks. It is one of the top-paying finance jobs out of college, requiring technical and financial consulting skills.
- Average Yearly Salary: $67,403 – $82,103
- Required Skills: Accounting, reading SEC filings, corporate finance, financial modeling, corporate valuation, developing forecast models, analytics, IT, insurance, interpersonal communication, presentations
3. Management analyst
Management analysts come in as the third-highest paying finance jobs out of college. These finance professionals increase company efficiency by examining current procedures and developing solutions. The position requires data collection skills, as well as above-average communication skills.
- Average Yearly Salary: $54,532 – $74,189
- Required Skills: Excellent interpersonal communication, problem-solving, business structure understanding, stakeholder analysis, cost-benefit analysis, process modeling, SAS, SQL databases, database query languages, programming languages
2. Personal finance advisor
Personal finance advisors are some of the highest paying finance jobs. These financial experts help clients make strategic decisions about their short and long-term goals. Personal finance advisors help people manage their money in many different ways, including investments, insurance, savings, estate planning, retirement, and taxes.
- Average Yearly Salary: $74,203 – $89,296
- Required Skills: Client communication, critical thinking, analytics, writing, computers and technology, sales, economics, necessary licensing, market research and trends, retirement planning
1. Financial manager
Financial Managers are one of the top-paying finance jobs out of college, with growing demand. Financial managers are similar to personal finance advisors, except they manage a company’s financial health instead of individuals. The position requires a lot of market knowledge, which could come with financial management experience.
- Average Yearly Salary: $59,779 – $106,395
- Required Skills: Leadership, business communication, interpersonal communication, decision making, investment principles, cash flows, financial data analysis, expense forecasting, government contracts, financial management systems, computers, advanced mathematics, economics, statistical modeling software, market research, and trends
9 highest paying finance jobs
The following list of jobs includes positions at the top end of the financial sector. These positions require time and experience in the industry and are considered some of the most sought-after jobs in finance. Even if you aren’t at that level yet, it’s good to explore the possibilities and set career goals.
9. Investment banker
Investment bankers help businesses and government groups invest their money. One of their primary focuses is raising money to grow a business and assisting companies in achieving financial growth goals.
- Average Yearly Salary: $72,133 – $89,566
- Skills Required: Intellectual capability, portfolio management, market research and trends, discipline, open-mindedness, relationship building, entrepreneurship, analytics, teamwork, interpersonal communication, global outlook, presentations, networking
8. Information technology auditor
IT Auditors work for businesses or government groups to ensure the technology meets compliance and other enterprise needs. These positions are high-earning and require technical experience in the field.
- Average Yearly Salary: $59,676 – $77,752
- Skills Required: Databases, operating systems, web technologies, networking, business practices, internal audit, IT, information security, ability to work independently and in teams, relationship management, communication, integrity, analytics
7. Compliance analyst
Compliance analysts audit businesses to comply with government rules and regulations. They train employees on industry compliance regulations and advise organizations on industry-specific requirements and standards.
- Average Yearly Salary: $42,612 to $58,152
- Skills Required: Compliance management certification, industry compliance requirements, compliance management software, advanced analytics, problem-solving, communication, audit, overall compliance procedures, regulatory frameworks, quality management, financial planning, data analysis
6. Financial advisor
Financial advisors, another one of the highest-earning finance jobs, help clients define their financial goals and invest in products to help them achieve them. They assist with significant life events, like saving for college and retirement. Financial advisors spend most of their time meeting with clients, identifying new opportunities, and executing investment strategies.
- Average Yearly Salary: $70,482 – $147,000
- Skills Required: Financial licensing, retirement planning, analytical thinking, communication, current market technology, sales strategy, industry knowledge, market trends, interpersonal networking, listening
5. Insurance advisor
Insurance advisors help people make sure the things and people they love stay safe by advising them on insurance plans. These experts guide by listening to long and short-term needs and offering insurance-specific financial guidance.
- Average Yearly Salary: $50,714 – $64,899
- Skills Required: Compliance, licensing, strong written and verbal communication, professionalism, familiarity with product and benefit trends
4. Hedge fund manager
Hedge fund managers help investors run a hedge fund’s operations and a diversified investment package. These individuals oversee all hedge fund portfolio investments. In a top-paying finance job, a hedge fund manager’s responsibilities include helping investors manage their investment objectives, liquidity, and fees.
- Average Yearly Salary: $86,006 – $130,045
- Skills Required: Financial instruments, financial market knowledge, risk (and risk tolerance), portfolio construction, interpersonal communication, financial modeling, math, confidence
3. Private equity associate
Private equity associates are business executives working for investment banks, finding investors, assisting them with investments, and performing due diligence on current investors. Private equity associates need to have excellent interpersonal communication skills.
- Average Yearly Salary: $85,931 – $114,295
- Skills Required: Industry knowledge, data analysis, data modeling, data visualization, business strategy, management strategy, writing, data analytics, report prep, negotiating, networking, communication
2. Chief financial officer
Chief financial officers (CFO) oversee business budgeting, cost-related decision-making, and financial teams. The CFO role is one of the highest paying finance jobs because it requires financial leadership, experience, and an extensive network.
- Average Yearly Salary: $314,481 – $528,583
- Skills Required: Problem-solving, team leadership, strategic vision, forecasting, budget management, financial reporting, accounting, corporate finance, consulting, analysis, entrepreneurship
1. Chief compliance officer
The top-paying finance job on our list is Chief compliance officer. These executives oversee all compliance-related duties and departments to ensure a company and its operations strictly comply with all laws.
- Average Yearly Salary: $197,001 – $278,101
- Skills Required: Regulatory guidelines, security policies, privacy, oversight, leadership, compliance issues, risk management, ethics, internal audit, organization, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, integrity, IT, overall business knowledge
Find a finance career you’ll love with Top Workplaces
It’s crucial to find a career that uses your skills and strengths well. Understanding the required skills for each job opportunity is essential in finding a job, but making sure that the list matches your skillset is also necessary. Putting your skills to good use will help you find a job you’ll love, making you feel proud.
Check out the Top Workplaces Financial Services Award to see which finance companies are rated the highest by their employees. Exploring the best finance companies and noting your skills will help you find a great place to work.
Does your company deserve recognition for its people-first culture and compensation packages? Nominate your organization for Top Workplaces, the program that offers awards in 60+ regional markets and national awards for culture and industry excellence.